Meet Boots, the new specialist search dog at Stansted Airport

A former rescue dog has been added to the team at Stansted Airport as a new specialist search dog. Boots, the former stray, was brought to the Dog Unit from The Dogs Trust and is now fully trained to sniff out both cash and illegal substances. The 18-month old Labrador crossbreed was taken into Basildon Kennels as a result of being found homeless last August, and was given a new home after the Dog Unit spotted his potential to work successfully as a search dog.

Boots, who was paired with handler PC Mark Rickwood, began training in January 2018 and passed as a fully licensed search dog at the beginning of March.

PC Mark Rickwood said: “When Boots first arrived at our kennels he was very timid and shy but he’s really come out of his shell and is growing in confidence every day.

“We don’t know an awful lot about his background but he showed all the signs of being a great working dog and did brilliantly in his training.”

Boots is now capable of detecting a range of currencies as well as drugs including ketamine, cocaine and marijuana. The pair are now working out of Stansted Airport putting their training to good use, checking passengers and their luggage.

Lisa Cooper, Dogs Trust Basildon Rehoming Centre Manager, said: “When Boots came to us he lacked confidence and was quite nervous. However, when a representative from the Dog Unit came to see us and spent time with him he really came out of his shell and showed off his lovely character. He came alive when searching for tennis balls and really enjoyed the challenge.

“We’re delighted he’s found a forever home and so proud that he has become an integral member of Essex Police.”
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